Thursday, July 17, 2008

One Among the Crowd

I listened to this talk (May 2008 Ensign) by Elder Neuenschwander of the Seventy this morning and, although I had heard it before, I had a new thought. He spoke of three instances in the scriptures where there was "one among the crowd." The woman in the New Testament who was suffering from a bleeding condition, who pressed through the crowd to reach the Savior to touch the hem of His garment. Alma in the Book of Mormon, who stood up to King Noah and his wicked priests. And finally, those who clung to the iron rod despite the scorning of the crowd in the great and spacious building in Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. Elder N. mentioned that these examples show people who press through the crowd, heeding them not, until they reach the Savior.

I though about how that can apply to me on a daily basis. I need to hold fast to the iron rod, stand up for truth, and push my way through the crowds of the world to reach the Savior. But, the thought I had was that this is a daily goal. When I wake up in the morning, that is when I start pushing through the "crowd." I realized that the "crowd" is anything that stands in my way of coming daily and continuously to the Lord. Weaknesses, temptations, sins, etc.

I have known that coming to the Lord is not an event but a process, but I hadn't really thought of it that way (it is interesting how you can know a thing without really understanding it - see my previous post). When I go to bed, I can ask myself, "Did I press through the crowd today?" And I can reflect on the day and what I did, ask for forgiveness and then realize that I get to start pressing forward again in the morning.

I think I take too many breaks along the way. I say, "I have done enough for now. A little break won't hurt." But it does. There is a reason why we are constantly admonished to be diligent, steadfast, and constant. If we are not, we will be putting ourselves in harms way. Again, here is an example of me knowing that I must be diligent, but not really understanding what that means. Obviously I can't spend all my time reading the scriptures, volunteering in the temple or in some other service project, visiting the sick, clothing the naked, etc., etc.

As I have struggled with this balancing act of living in the world and trying to press forward to the Savior, I have come across, what I think is the best counsel on the topic of choosing what to do and how we can continuously press forward to the Savior while still having to live in the world. It is in the Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

It is plain. And if I honestly listen to and seek out the inspiration from the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost, I will know if what I am doing that moment is pressing forward to the Savior or taking a detour. I know that this is true. And I am going to try to do that each day so I can be one among the crowd.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

I often wonder about the example I set to my co-workers. I wonder if they know that I'm a Christian because of my example or conversely if they would be surprised when they found out. I need to think more about it in the morning before the day starts!

Sal Gal said...

Thanks for that Jerry, it was really uplifting to read! Your kids will treasure this!

Autumn said...

I am led to think of Elder Oaks' Good, Better, Best talk. As we "press forward" daily we really can reflect to ourselves "Is this the BEST thing to do right now?" (meaning is what we're doing going to help us in our "press" forward toward the Savior)